Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Readathon!

Hi all! Today I'm participating in The Picky Girl's NYE readathon! Fun stuff! I'll be tweeting my progress though out the day. Look for hag tag #nyereadathon to follow everyone's progress.






I'm going to start by answering the questions @picky_girl posted on her blog:



1. What are you reading today?  I have two books I would like to finish today, but being a slow reader I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish that goal. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I have two reading challenge to complete, I need to read two books to finish the goodreads reading challenge (I was right on track for the goodreads challenge, until we moved.) and two books for the JA Spinoffs Reading Challenge, so I thought I would combine the two and see if I can finish both! (Part of the day I will listen to the audio of Mansfield Park while I work around the house) Wish me luck!

2. Are you a comfy reader, or do you get dressed, wear shoes and socks, and sit in a straight back chair?   I'm a comfy reader for sure! I'm wearing my yoga pants and a comfy warm shirt for the day!

3. Food. What will you be eating/imbibing today?  I'm making Black-eyed Peas and Rice for dinner, good luck for the New Year, with Cornbread! Yum! Sipping on some coffee and Bailey's! Excellent! Cookies will be involved sometime today as well. ;)

4. Have you finished a book yet?  Nope.

5. What book do you want to be reading to close out 2012? See question 1.


Join the fun! Head over to The Picky Girl and sign up!

Review: The Shopping Swap by Erin Brady


I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year



I LOVED The Shopping Swap! It’s a cute, fun read! Erin Brady wrote a sweet romance that I was quickly drawn into.


When Maggie Andrews gets home from shopping she finds out she has someone else’s bag! Instead of the sexy, expensive lingerie that she bought, she now has a very modest housecoat. How is she going to attract the attention of her absentee boyfriend in that uninviting, yet surprisingly comfortable housecoat?
  
I love Maggie! She is sweet, loyal, and super cute. Unfortunately, she can’t see what everyone else sees in Richard, whom she has been dating for the last five years. Her sister, Janie has been trying to tell her for a while now that Richard isn’t going to marry her, but Maggie won’t listen. She is convinced Janie doesn’t understand Richard as he is just a busy man trying to build a successful career. He will marry her...some day.

Returning to Crandall's Department store the next day, she meets Ben Sanders. Somehow they managed to swap shopping bags the previous day. Ben is the perfect “tall, dark and handsome” man, and when they meet, he finds Maggie adorable, especially when she blushes over what’s in her bag. I love that he is so caring and gentle with Maggie. He and Maggie become friends, but can they remain “just friends”?

I really enjoyed The Shopping Swap! This is Erin Brady’s second book. You can read my review for her first book, “And the Winner is...here.

5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of The Shopping Swap for my honest review.

Buy: The Shopping Swap (Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link here, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!)



About the Author:

Although 'And The Winner Is' is Erin's first romantic comedy novel, she, just like her character, Marty Peters, know a thing or two about trying to follow her dreams.  She acknowledges her own obsession with celebrities and shoes and has spent the better part of her life single and looking for love. She's happily married now but it took her awhile to get there. Last but not least, she has several subscriptions to tabloid magazines and is not afraid to admit it.  Aside from those credentials, she is a writer and former accountant working in New York City.


Connect with Erin:






Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!




Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Unmasking Maya By Libby Mercer


Book Blurb:

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?




My Review:


I loved, loved, loved this book! This is the first story I’ve read by Libby Mercer, and it won’t be my last! Unmasking Maya has everything I love about a good romance! And I found that I really love Libby Mercer’s writing style.

Maya Kirkwood is an artist, who is trying hard to build a new career and to forget her past career as a fashion designer. With a new name, in a new city, living in a studio apartment, she designs amazing wall art out of fabrics. When she is commissioned to do some art work by Derek Whitley for his company, Unisco, she finds herself strongly attracted to Derek, but the last thing she needs is to get involved with another overly ambitious man who would do anything, or step on anyone, to get to the top. 

I loved Derek Whitley! He reminded me of Mr. Darcy. He has that air of superiority, and he is intense and oh so incredibly handsome. Derek and Maya don’t get off to a good start when he insults her artwork before he knows she's the artist! Stunned by his comments, she can't understand why he would hire her. His friends tell Maya that Derek has not always been so up-tight and driven by his work, and Maya finds out she’s not the only one with a difficult past. 

Derek is always cold and distant toward Maya, but when trouble shows up the night of the unveiling of new the wing at Unisco, Derek is right by her side like a knight in shining armor. As her past is unmasked in front of him, will he believe the worst of her the way everyone else does?

I loved that Unmasking Maya is written in the first person from Maya’s point-of-view. I felt like my best friend was telling me something that happened to her. 

If you’re looking for a cute, fun, quirky romance, I would highly recommend Unmasking Maya.

5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of Unmasking Maya for my honest review.

Buy a copy here.


Connect with Libby Mercer:







Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Holiday Man By Marilyn Brant



Book Blurb:

A Year of Holidays...
Shannon Quinn is the small-town girl who runs "Holiday Quinn" -- a holiday-themed inn and resort based in scenic Door County, Wisconsin.

One winter evening, wealthy Minneapolis businessman, Bram Hartwick, blows into town along with the fast-falling snow. The sparks Bram and Shannon create succeed in heating up the chilly Midwestern night, not to mention plenty of holiday weekends in the year that follows...

But is their relationship only for special occasions, or might it be the elusive everyday love that neither of them thought could be found?




My Review:

In the Holiday Man, the holidays sizzle in this cute, sexy read!

Shannon Quinn owns and runs an inn called Holiday Quinn. It has been in her family for a couple of generations, first belonging to her grandparents.  Shannon now runs it alone, and she is only open on the holidays. I loved that this Inn is named after the movie Holiday Inn and has room names like the Crosby Room and The Astaire Suite. Super cute!

On Valentines weekend, Shannon meets Bram Hartwick as he checks into the inn - he checks in as a single guest. Right away there is a strong attraction to one another. But all weekend long, as soon as they start getting close, they are interrupted by Jake, Shannon’s assistant. Jake has always flirted with Shannon, and even though he would like it to go further, it never has.  After that first weekend, Bram makes it a point to return every holiday he can. But, with different desires and misunderstandings will they ever get together for more than a weekend? 

When we first meet Shannon she is lonely and stuck in a rut.  She loves the inn, but doesn’t want to be stuck there for the rest of her life. She wants to see the world! Experience new things; live! Bram is just the opposite. He has seen the world and experienced many things. He is ready to settle down and relax.

I love it when the characters have that chemistry...when there fingers touch, and they feel that tingle. Shannon and Bram have that special magic between them, and they are naturally drawn together, but I was getting a little frustrated with their misunderstandings. One thing is for sure...they had no trouble communicating in the bedroom!

I enjoy this story! It is a fun, quick read, and I read it in one afternoon! Oh, and let me say how much I love this cover! It was designed by Rebecca Young. She is becoming quite the cover artist! 

I am looking forward to reading Brant's next book, Pride and Prejudice and the Perfect Match coming out in January!

4 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of Holiday Man for my honest review.

I would give this a mature rating for some sexual scenes and mild language.

You can buy a copy here.


Connect with Marilyn Brant:






Any thoughts? I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winner of Mr. Darcy Bites Back!



Rafflecopter has picked a winner!






to:


Monica P


Thanks to all who entered!


If you didn't win you can buy a copy at Amazon.


Thank you, Mary Simonsen, for having this wonderful giveaway with me!


Monica you should have received an email from me.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: He Taught Me to Hope: Darcy and the Young Knight's Quest By P. O. Dixon



In He Taught Me to Hope, Elizabeth marries a young man of a wealthy family. Only a month after the wedding, Elizabeth is a widow. Thankfully, in that short time together, she has conceived a child and gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, Ben. Elizabeth continues to live with her father-in-law until his death. Then she and Ben return to Longbourn to live.  Sadly, Mr. Bennet, never approving of Elizabeth's marriage, treats her like a stranger.

To secure the future for her mother and sisters, as well as for Ben, Elizabeth agrees to marry Mr. Collins. It is an arranged marriage, but Liz felt it would be good for her and Ben. Then one night, at the Meryton Assembly, she sees Mr. Darcy for the first time. As he is walking through the crowd their eyes meet, and Lizzy feels as if she were staring into the eyes of her soul mate. The attraction is just as strong for Darcy, and he is enchanted with Elizabeth.

I love how Darcy is trying to woo Elizabeth away from Mr. Collins. He is hoping she will see how they are meant to be together and how wrong Mr. Collins is for both her and Ben. He has a strong ally in Ben, who loves Darcy!

Ben is adorable! Darcy and Ben meet in the woods. Ben introduces himself as Sir Lancelot and believes Darcy is King Arthur. I love how Darcy treats Ben. He lets Ben be imaginative, and doesn’t try to stifle that. I also love that Darcy falls in love with both Elizabeth and Ben before he finds out that Ben is Elizabeth’s son.

I wasn't happy with Jane in this story. She is not the positive, “seeing only the good in everything” person she usually is. She is afraid for her future, afraid she’ll never find a husband and is bitter toward Elizabeth and all her suitors. I would have liked to see Elizabeth's and Jane's relationship restored. It felt incomplete. 

He Taught Me to Hope is a fun Pride and Prejudice adaptation! I loved the whole King Author aspect.

3.5 stars out of 5. 

I won my copy of He Taught Me to Hope from Mary Simonsen's blog.

Buy a copy here.


About the Author:

P O Dixon writes Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice adaptations with one overriding purpose in mind—falling in love with Darcy and Elizabeth all over again. Her initial exposure to Pride and Prejudice was in 2007. After watching the 2005 film at least two times a day for as many weeks, she determined she needed to know much more of the story's hero. After reading the novel, along with several excellent ‘what-if’ books that told the story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective, she came across a link to the online Jane Austen Fan Fiction community. Her life has never been quite the same. 
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and preteen daughter, Elizabeth. 

Connect with P O Dixon Online:

Twitter: @podixon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Mr. Darcy Bites Back by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Ahh...It feels good to be back with my favorite couple! I’ve been asked to review many good books lately that are not Austenesque, but I always love to come home! Today, I am reviewing Mary Simonsen's new book, and she is graciously giving one e-book copy of Mr. Darcy Bites Back to one lucky person! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below! 


From the back jacket:

As Mr. and Mrs. Darcy approach the first anniversary of their marriage, they look upon their life together very much as an idyll. With one exception. Their lives will always be ruled by the lunar cycle as the Master of Pemberley is a werewolf.
As Darcy prepares his wolf pack for nightfall, an unsettling rumor is being spread in the village that a phantom Ghost Buck has appeared in Wentside Woods on the Darcy estate. Because Darcy does not believe the stag exists, he wants to know who started the rumor—and why. Is it possible that someone has learned of his darkest secret and is trying to draw him out?




My Review:

This is a fun peek into the lives of Darcy and Elizabeth! I read Mr. Darcy’s Bite last year; you can read my review here.  The story continues in Mr. Darcy Bites Back where we visit the Darcy’s about a year after they are married... 

Someone is spreading rumors about a huge deer the locals call “Ghost Buck."  Interestingly, the Ghost Buck has only been spotted in the woods near Pemberley. Darcy has always tried hard to keep people out of his woods. Now, he is concerned the rumors will bring more poachers to the area to trap this elusive deer, thus adding more danger to him and his pack by being spotted, or worse, caught in the teeth of a steel trap. Darcy is anxious to solve this mystery.

As if that’s not enough, Darcy also has to deal with a new member of his pack, Marcel, a young man, a loner who trusts no one. With no guidance, he has had trouble adjusting to his life as a wolf, and because of those troubles, he has a lot of pent-up anger. The Council is hoping Darcy can help him adjust to his new life and to learn to be part of a pack.

While Darcy is working to figure out where the rumors are originating, Elizabeth and Georgiana have teamed up to solve the mystery on their own. 

I loved the mention of Antony, Lord Fitzwilliam! He is at Rosings, most likely hiding out from his creditors. I can only imagine how he is getting along with Lady Catherine! Now, that could be a good story all on it own!

If you enjoyed Mr. Darcy’s Bite, I think you will enjoy Mr. Darcy Bites Back! Even if, you haven’t read the first I think you’ll be alright reading this alone. Mary does give a little of the back story at the beginning and then a few times through out the story. This is a novella, so it does concentrate on this one event.

As always, Mary has written another enjoyable read!

4 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of Mr. Darcy Bites Back for my honest review.

You can buy a paperback or e-book copy. Or fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win an e-copy!


Connect with Mary:

Twitter: @MarySimonsen

~~~GIVEAWAY!~~~

Here it is! Your chance to win an e-book copy (Nook or Kindle) of Mr. Darcy Bites Back! Fill in the Rafflecopter form below! The last day to enter is December 5, 2012. This is open internationally. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win an e-book copy of Mr Darcy Bites Back, and leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest Post, Giveaway and a Freebie!



Hi Everyone! I just wanted to let you know I'm over at Indie Jane with my review of All My Tomorrows by Colette Saucier. They are also having a giveaway over there. You have a chance to win  either an e-book copy or a paperback copy of All My Tomorrows!










Next, I wanted to let you know, Mary Simonsen's book, Becoming Elizabeth Darcy kindle e-book is free at Amazon for the next three days, November 27th, 28th and 29th! ~ SALE IS OVER. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Tour/Review: A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray





About A Texan's Choice

When notorious outlaw Scout Proffitt wins a rundown ranch in west Texas, he expects to find the home he’s never had. Instead, he finds a run-down shack, a barn in dire straits…and a lovely woman who’s in no hurry to give up her ranch.
When Scout discovers that Rosemarie has nowhere else to go, he   reluctantly allows her to stay with him for two weeks until she can find another home. But soon the locals get involved and insist they marry.
Determined to do at least one thing right in his life, he marries Rose. Then people from his past come back and give him an offer he can’t refuse. If things go well, he can make a fresh start. If not, he’ll be even worse off than before.
Which was something he never thought possible…



My Review:

Next to Regency, Historical Romance stories set in the American West are one of my favorite to read. I was very happy to get a chance to read A Texan’s Choice. I was intrigued to see how Gray would turn a gunslinger into a hero, and I was delighted with the results!

Rosemarie has always felt like an outsider in her own home. Her mother has never forgiven her for the death of her little brother. It was an accident, but that doesn’t matter. Now, her father was dead, and her mother was leaving her to go to live with her sister and brother-in-law, leaving her at the mercy of a killer.

Scout Proffit was a gunfighter who had run with the Walton Gang. Men feared him. He had come to claim the ranch he had won in a card game a couple of months back. What he found when he got there was a run down ranch and Rosemarie. With no place to go, Rosemarie asks if she can stay on at the ranch until she can find another place to go. Reluctantly, Scout agrees. When the town folks find out they are alone on the ranch, they insist that Scout and Rosemarie marry.

Deep down Scout is a decent man. He didn’t start out wanting to be a killer, but out of desperation he had become one, and he found he was good at it - real good. He was surprised how easy it was to shut off his feelings, and walk away from those he killed. When he realizes Rosemarie’s family is abandoning her, Scout feels a strong need to protect her. I love Scout and how he softens up to Rosemarie.

Another man who also ran with the Walton Gang is Russell Champion. Russell was tired of an outlaw’s life. He wanted to be able to walk the streets without worrying about the law coming after him. Then there is Miles Grant, owner of Circle Z ranch, he too struggled with low self-esteem. He worked hard to earn the trust of his hands at the ranch, but he still felt as if he needed to prove himself worthy of that trust and have their respect. When trouble comes to call, can these three men come together and break free of their pasts?

I liked Scout and Rosemarie's story. I love that whole damsel in distress and the strong, handsome,...gunslinger, in this case, who comes along and saves the day! I also enjoyed Mile's story. I really liked his feisty housekeeper, Annebeth. I liked how she bosses Miles around and always knows what's going on around town and at the ranch.

Even though, this is the third book of the series, and I have not read the first two, I didn’t feel as if I were missing anything. So, I would say this story can stand alone. But now I want to read A Texan’s Promise and A Texan’s Honor!

4 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book for my honest review. 



ABOUT SHELLEY GRAY

Shelley Gray’s first Amish novel, Hidden, was nominated for the Inspirational Readers Choice award. Her bookSimple Gifts won the Reviewers Choice Award. Shelley’s novel, The Protector, recently made the New York Timesbestseller list.  Her novels have won the prestigious HOLT Medallion Award, the Reviewers Choice Award, and been highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, Time Magazine, and USA Today. She’s also been interviewed on NPR as well as numerous regional radio stations. In addition, her novels have made both the USA Today and New York Times Bestsellers lists.
Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degrees in educational administration. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time.
Her latest book is the Christian historical fiction, A Texan’s Choice.
You can visit Shelley’s website at www.shelleyshepardgray.com.
Connect with Shelley: Facebook Goodreads 
Purchase A Texan’s Choice: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  ChristianBook.com Abingdon Press

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A Texan’s Choice Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, November 5

Book Review at Splashes of Joy
Tuesday, November 6
Book Review & Book Giveaway at Colletta’s Kitchen Sink
Wednesday, November 7
Book Review at Legacy of a Writer
Thursday, November 8
Book Review at 4 the Love of Books
Friday, November 9
Book Review & Book Giveaway at Reviews From the Heart
Interview at 4 the Love of Books
Monday, November 12
Book Review at WV Stitcher
Tuesday, November 13
Book Review at The Book Connection
Wednesday, November 14
Book Review at Book Club Sisters
Thursday, November 15
Book Review at Everyday Is An Adventure
Book Review at  Mocha with Linda
Friday, November 16
Book Review at The Bunny’s Review
Monday, November 19
Book Review at Maureen’s Musings
Tuesday, November 20
Book Review at Cafe Lily Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 21
Thursday, November 22
HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Friday, November 23
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Monday, November 26
Book Review at So Little Time…
Book Review at Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
Tuesday, November 27
Read-A-Chapter at As the Pages Turn
Friday, November 30
Book Review & Book Giveaway at Christian Book Review Blog

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

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